My divorce made me love my wedding video

Guest post by Samantha Pink

Offbeat Bride readers might remember me from this post. That marriage ended two years after our wedding. It took two more years after that for me to revisit my wedding video. I expected to feel pain, but I felt so much joy instead.

I watch my wedding video now, and I see two people in love. That has been the most important, validating, and healing aspect for me. He loved me. I loved him. We loved each other. We got married for all the right reasons, and that marriage ended, and that’s okay.

I’m glad we got married, which is something I never expected myself to say. I’m glad for the memories I made in that relationship and for everything I felt. My wedding video means more to me now than I could ever have anticipated four years ago, and I am so glad to have this video that, in four minutes, captures everything that we were…

SAMANTHA+ANDREW from Matt Odom on Vimeo.

I’m also glad that we got divorced, which is something I never expected myself to say.

Two years ago, when I realized my marriage was truly over, I felt broken. I remember literally collapsing to the floor. But my divorce did not break me. My divorce taught me that I am unbreakable, reinforced that love is important, and reminded me that just because things end, doesn’t mean they weren’t beautiful.

All of my favorite stories have endings, and they aren’t always happily ever after. But they’re always worth reading.

Any other divorced Homies find that they can still enjoy their wedding memories post-separation?

Comments on My divorce made me love my wedding video

  1. Oh man, can I relate to this. My marriage to my ex-wife ended 3 years after we had a civil ceremony (gay marriage wasn’t legal in VA at the time… you know how that goes). And yet… that day is still the happiest day of my life. Both she and I were surrounded by all of our friends and family who supported us. We had a freaking blast. My ex-wife and I are still best friends… we realized that we rushed things, and it just wasn’t meant to be. But we still talk about our wedding and how much it kicked all sorts of ass. Still have the photo album and everything! We’ve both also lost 200lbs between the both of us since… and we’re both like “man, it’s gonna be awesome to wear smaller clothes when we get remarried” hahahah 😀

    • I can totally relate to this and it’s beautiful. I was married to my ex-wife for 8 years and through all the difficulties with getting “divorced” (same issue, weren’t legally married cuz no gay marriage in PA at the time) we are still best friends and excited about each of our respective nuptials coming up. I still have our wedding album because I couldn’t bring myself to throw it out at first, and I didn’t know what else to do with it, so it got shoved in a closet. Now I can look through it and just smile and get excited for the next big adventure.

  2. I’ve been divorced 2yrs now (9yr relationship; 5yrs married) & I recently started a wedding & events planning business. As a result I use a lot of my experience from my own wedding day. However, it’s only really recently that I’ve been able to address the emotion attached to it. I think this is mainly as I’ve always focused on the bits that need improving in order to do better for my clients, but also because I relived the feelings on and off during the divorce. It still makes me sad at times but it was absolutely right at that time for those people we were then. I still can’t imagine having another wedding & for now I’m more than happy planning other people’s special days x

  3. I can’t see my wedding that way. I see the entire relationship of nearly 3.5 years as a lesson. I was abused in many ways, and whatever good thoughts I could have harbored are overshadowed by the abuse and having the change my number, so I didn’t have to deal with him screaming at me that he was going to alternately burn my house down with me in it, or call me when his already pregnant girlfriend wouldn’t put out and beg me for sex. He left me, but set me free. Next week is the two year anniversary of the dissolution of marriage, and the two year anniversary that I met my now fiancé. I asked him to marry me last week. Sorry this got off topic. The one thing that I do remember fondly is my family helping make it happen. Doing what needed to be done because I was fried. Doing it alone. I should have been stronger then, but I wasn’t. I shouldn’t have married my ex, but that doesn’t mean I can’t really find love, and I did. I found my other half… My soulmate.

    • Sounds like you were plenty strong. You came through it and survived intact, and have love to share with someone new. I hope your new relationship brings you much love and happiness.

  4. This is such a wonderfully healthy perspective. Of course there are certain instances where this perspective wouldn’t work because too much harm was done by one or both partners. But I think we are conditioned to vilify our exes, and/or to punish ourselves for making poor relationship choices in hindsight. But what if that partner was the right person for you at that moment in time, and only became wrong for you later on? Does that mean you were naive, or were you in fact making the best choice you could at the time with the feelings and information you had?

    An older friend of mine recently got divorced after 22 years of marriage. I asked her how she was doing a few months after the divorce, and she said, “you know, we had 20 really good years. It was only the last 2 that sucked.” She didn’t have regrets about being married, and neither did she regret divorcing when the relationship no longer worked.

    We’re allowed to evolve, to make different choices today than we would have years ago. I try to keep this in mind when I reflect on my previous relationships. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. I’m so glad for this post. My marriage ended unexpectedly after three years, and I’m almost a year out from my husband leaving, and still trying to figure out what to do both with the stuff that we have (like our Quaker marriage contract, signed by everyone in our community) and the memories. I’m not sure at this moment if I’ll ever have a wedding again and so I’ve felt conflicted about the fact that they’re my memories to, of the day, which was wonderful. It’s good to hear that it’s okay to hold on to the positive parts of the day.

  6. I have enormously positive feelings over both my little courthouse wedding and my marriage. Marrying my ex was the best decision I ever made and our relationship was the most wonderful way I could have spent much of my twenties and early thirties. We split because of significant changes in where we saw our lives going (children, location in the world) that came about naturally and were impossible to work through. I struggle to make clear to others that I don’t view the end of our relationship as a failure. I would much rather have had an 8 year relationship that was loving and healthy than an unending marriage filled with impossible compromises and resentment. All I see when I look at my wedding photos is love. Now that I’ve worked through the loss of the relationship, when I think of my marriage I think of how well we treated each other and how much we loved each other. My wedding photos remind me that I was and am a lucky duck.

  7. I wish I could see it in that light at this point. I hope to get to that point sometime down the road. Just still way too raw. I look at this article as a ray of hope for the future though.

  8. This is a helpful reminder. I had a good relationship (9 years), a short marriage and a “good” divorce. This allowed me to re-unite with a former love from college. Our exs are now in a relationship together and we’re happy together. But I still struggle with what a wedding means, is and was. Since my marriage was so short (months) I often wonder if it was worth it. Like, I’d still be able to look forward to the “big day” if we hadn’t married. But, I would have never known what marriage feels like and how much work it can be and how much it’s loss hurts if I hadn’t gotten married. One year out- I guess I am still conflicted.

  9. Thank you. My feelings about my divorce are complicated and though I’m glad I’m no longer with my former husband, and glad we aren’t married, my feelings about if we should have, or what should have happened are complex and not clear.

    Thank you though, for show that it’s ok to be happy it happened, and happy it’s over.

  10. I usually can’t watch wedding videos without feeling a bit sad as the family member that was making the only video recording of our wedding told me as the reception had ended and we were cleaning up that she couldn’t figure out the video camera (and didn’t bother telling or asking anyone to help at any point during the wedding or reception) so she got absolutely nothing. We didn’t expect quality camera work, but it is still a bit painful that I didn’t make a better decision to have someone else do it and capture at least a little bit of our wedding day.

    All that to say, your wedding video is so beautiful and the happiness and love just pours out! It is really one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen, and I’m glad that you’ve come to such a positive place with everything and are able to enjoy watching it. Wishing you more happiness and the best in the future as well! 🙂

  11. I’m so glad to come across this post as my own marriage is winding down to its end. It makes me realize I have a friendly community to turn to, and I don’t have to be as alone as I feel. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your story.

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